Ovum Finds Strong North American Optical Networking Market

November 21, 2013. Global optical networking (ON) spending in 3Q13 was down according to the latest market share alert from Ovum, the global market analyst firm. Revenues of $3.7 billion have decreased 9% from 2Q13 and were flat against the year-ago quarter, while sequential and year-over-year gains in North America have mitigated declines in Asia-Pacific, EMEA, and South and Central America. Market spending continues to fluctuate by quarter depending on region/sub-region and seasonal spending patterns, resulting in stagnant sales on a global level. Vendors with strong exposure to the North American market performed well in the third quarter.

Ovum cited these key findings:

  • The global ON market paused in the third quarter. Year-over-year quarterly global spending was flat at $3.7 billion, blunting optimism after a stronger second quarter. The ON market has grown versus the prior year’s quarter in only two out of the last eight quarters.
  • Strong Tier-1 operator spending drove increased converged packet optical (CPO) and 100G deployments in the North America. ON revenues in the region topped $1.1 billion in 3Q13, the second consecutive billion-dollar-plus quarter.
  • Ciena, Fujitsu, and Infinera all grew revenues sequentially and year over year. All three vendors took advantage of the hot North American market. Fujitsu reported its best quarterly revenues since 1Q08, while Ciena reported its best results since the acquisition of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks business in 1Q10. Infinera moved into the top 10 globally, ousting Coriant.
  • Spending for ROADM, 40G, and 100G all increased slightly over the prior quarter. Although CPO revenues fell for the first time in a year due to lower spending in Asia-Pacific, annualized CPO spending surpassed $7 billion for the first time.
  • Ovum maintains 3Q13 global ON revenue results are consistent with its most recent annual forecast published in October 2013 calling for 1% growth in 2013 to $14.8 billion and exceeding $17.5 billion by 2018.

Ron Kline, principal analyst for network infrastructure at Ovum, said, “Total spending may be under pressure, but when it comes to deploying the latest infrastructure to support exploding bandwidth requirements, the demand for 100G, OTN, and packet switching capabilities provided by CPO gear continues to see strong growth among operators. CPO has now reached a tipping point, representing greater than 50% of total ON spending for the second consecutive quarter in 3Q13, a trend we expect to accelerate in 2014. This is just the beginning of the next upgrade cycle. The data center is the new central office, and operators are refreshing network technology to address changing traffic patterns as the steady march to IP continues.”


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